Manchester United vs Arsenal - FA Cup Head to Heads
Manchester United v Arsenal is always one of the most anticipated fixtures of the year in English football. With both sides suffering recent defeats, the stakes will be even higher as both sides contest for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Arsenal will put their relentless pursuit of Manchester United at the top of the EPL on hold as they look to bounce back from their defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League.
Recent form may worry some United fans, with the Premier League leaders suffering consecutive league defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool. Being a cup game with a semi-final place at Wembley at stake, form will go out of the window, leaving us open for a hotly contested battle between two of English footballs great rivals. With silverware and pride at stake, individual players could make the difference between victory and defeat...
Arguably both United's and Arsenal's two best players. Vidic and Van Persie will fight a strong physical battle that could be key in deciding the outcome of the match. Vidic will make his return after suspension while Wenger is expected use the recently recovered Dutchman to threaten the Manchester United goal.
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He's not firing on all cylinders but is still capable of moments of magic. He'll feel that he has a point to prove this season and could be instrumental in helping United win the FA Cup. Johan Djourou has risen up the Arsenal defensive pecking order after an impressive season. Arsenal's chances of progressing could come down to how well Djourou can keep Rooney quiet.
With impressive performances at some of the biggest stages in the world, Wilshere has already shown a fearless attitude that has made him one of the most exciting players in the EPL. Standing in his way will be the understated Darren Fletcher who will relish the chance to put Wilshere in his place. Allowing Wilshere no space on the ball will be Fletcher's main objective.
The first goal in this match will be hugely significant and if Samir Nasri produces his recent form, he could prove too much for United's young full back Rafael da Silva. The young Brazilian has earned Ferguson's confidence this season with impressive displays but is prone to being caught out of position.
The battle of the wingers. Manchester United have badly missed Antonio Valencia this season since he suffered a broken ankle in September. The Ecuador International could make his return against Arsenal in place of the injured Nani. His Arsenal counterpart Andrei Arshavin has looked impressive in recent games and has a good record against United.
Two footballing giants going toe-to-toe at Old Trafford in one of the most prestigious cup tournaments in world football, but which players will reign victorious? We've highlighted the key battles, now we're eager to hear how you think the players will perform and who you think will win...